I’m getting home too late to provide much in the way of useful commentary, but I really want to point to the redistricting plans that became public this evening. Just one week before they’re due to be voted on, we’re all getting our first look at them. (To be fair, I thought odds were good that they wouldn’t be public at all prior to the vote, so it could be worse.) So far only senate and house districts are available—no official, detailed congressional lines are public yet—and there’s been no time for proper analysis. In a nutshell, Senate Democrats drew the lines that benefit them, and House Republicans drew the lines that benefit them. If any of those benefit us, that’s just a happy coincidence.
Where I live, things would stay the same. I’d remain in the 58th house district, represented by Republican Rob Bell, and I’d remain in the 25th senate district, represented by Democrat Creigh Deeds. The 58th ends up distending to the west rather a long way—clear over the mountains to to Elkton, within spitting distance of Massanutten—linking two utterly unrelated communities. And although I’m very happy having Creigh as my senator, I think the fact that I’m going to remain in his district highlights one of the many problems with redistrict as it’s practiced. The 25th is ridiculous, and the proposed 25th looks even more ridiculous. There’s just no way that it makes sense for a senator who lives in Bath County to represent Albemarle County. But much of his existing constituency is here, and his fellow Democrats in the senate aren’t about to change that.
My assumption is that the final district boundaries are going to look very much like—if not precisely like—what we see here. I’d love to hear from folks about how their own district is going to be affected. What about your new boundaries don’t make any sense? Is there anything that’s improved?